Historical Snapshot

B & W Seaplane

The B & W was the first Boeing product, named after the initials of its designers, William Boeing and U.S. Navy Lt. Conrad Westervelt.

The first B & W, completed in June 1916, was made of wood, linen and wire. Inspired by the Martin TA trainer that Boeing owned, the B & W had, among other improvements, better pontoons and a more powerful engine.

The two B & Ws were offered to the U.S. Navy. When the Navy did not buy them, they were sold to the New Zealand Flying School and became the company's first international sale. The B & Ws later were used for New Zealand express and airmail deliveries, set a New Zealand altitude record of 6,500 feet (1981 meters) feet on June 25, 1919, and made that country's first official airmail flight on Dec. 16, 1919.

    Technical Specifications

    First flight June 15, 1916
    Model number 1
    Classification Utility seaplane
    Span 52 feet
    Length 27 feet 6 inches
    Gross weight 2,800 pounds
    Top speed 75 mph
    Cruising speed 67 mph
    Range 320 miles
    Power 125-horsepower Hall-Scott A-5 engine
    Accommodation Two crew